South Africa?s Communist party (SACP) is calling on President Thabo Mbeki to step down for what the party describes as Mbeki?s failure to lead the country in the right path. The SACP, which is in alliance with the ruling African National Congress party (ANC), said there is a leadership crisis in the ANC and is therefore demanding an early general election. The party said Mbeki?s continued stay in power undermines the power of ANC President Jacob Zuma ahead of next year?s general elections. This comes after the Mbeki government reportedly failed to contain the recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals by South African youth mobs, which led to a loss of lives and property. Francis Maleka is the spokesman for SACP. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from Johannesburg that his party wants President Mbeki to step down with immediate effect.

?When we went to the last summit, there were some urgent pressing issues that were on the agenda of the summit. Among those, the electricity crisis? but generally about how we inspire confidence and provide leadership in society. Now, this has been an opportunity for the alliance partners to meet and discuss the issue, and when we table those issues we obviously discussing them within the context. And that context is that there is a new leadership of the ANC, and that leadership of the ANC that was elected at the conference that took certain resolutions, some of the resolutions continue to be undermined,? Maleka pointed out.

He said there was a need for the party?s concerns to be addressed by all parties in the alliance.

?The question that we have been asking was that as part of making sure that there is a smooth transition, could it not be part of the consideration that the ANC would have to consider recalling the president and then putting measures to make sure it was within same transitional issues, and then we do take those issues forward in the proper environment,? he said. 

Maleka said it is not news that the country faces a leadership predicament that needs immediate resolution.

?All of us in the alliance agree that there is a crisis. There is a problem of leadership; there is a problem with the ability to have delivered some of our promises many of the things are coming back to haunt us. This is not an easy matter; it is not an easy decision to arrive at, but we believe that it is in the best interest of the transition that this matter is considered,? Maleka noted.

He is hopeful the ruling ANC would want the leadership crisis resolved.

?We take decisions and after we?ve taken the decisions our commitment is to engage with the ANC to engage with COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) and in that engagement we are open to be persuaded. Our views might not always be right, the ANC might agree or might not agree. We can only speculate how, but our commitment is to continue to engage the ANC on this issue and we would then hear what are the views of the ANC when we go to that kind of engagement,? he said.

Maleka said the constitution of the ANC clearly spells out the modalities to work with when early elections are necessary.

?In as far as we know the constitutional provision as far as if the party was to recall its own cadre that it has deployed, in this instance the president all that we have to do is to then reconvene parliament. And let the new president amongst the populace in the ANC in parliament if we are to go in an early election. Those are some of the things that we want to engage the ANC on because there are lot of advantages and disadvantages. And I think? we might not be at liberty to publicly say many of the things, but we are hoping that these are the issues that we must continue discussions on,? Maleka pointed out.